I keep having nightmares about my dad that passed from cancer

Hello everyone. I am a 20 year old woman and recently lost my father to stage 4 pancreatic cancer. From his diagnosis to his passing was only four months, and I am still reeling. When he was diagnosed I really stepped up. I dropped my college classes (and was dismissed from financial aid because of it) and did everything for him and my two grandparents who he was taking care of prior. I coordinated doctors appointments, took everyone to said appointments, solely dealt with insurance for everyone and had to get my father his medical insurance as soon as he received his diagnosis. I was with him fully. I paid bills, did grocery shopping and took care of the dog, listened to 4am phone calls where my daddy was just crying and scared out of his mind. I cleaned up after him when he got sick on himself and had to watch him wither away and deteriorate. I was with him the night he passed and it was horrific. I was diagnosed with C-PTSD at 17 for past trauma, and when he died on October 17th I have had nightmares daily about it and feel it was triggered again, when I had been coping very well beforehand. They are drawn out dreams of his decline, they make me wake up sobbing and there is nothing my wife can really do to comfort me. I am no stranger to nightmares, but these are mostly memories that become more and more disfigured as the days go on. None of my friends understand this grief, and how truly heavy it is. How it permeates every aspect of who I am. I have bipolar disorder as well and this was particularly hard to handle because for most of this process I was unmedicated. I am now medicated, but the dosage is still being tweaked. I always feel hollow and am prone to constantly crying. I miss him so much it takes my breath away and makes me want to scream. I think of him and the memories we shared non-stop. I always think of him next to me when I go through my day. Does anyone else have similar experiences/ have any advice? I have a good therapist but just feel so lost. I don't want to leave the house ever but am still taking care of my grandparents so I do for them.


I understand, My son committed suicide on Jan 12 of this horrible year. The grief has made me feel like I landed face first in the dirt. At the beginning of this roller coaster, all I could do was cry. And scream. Yes, I allowed myself to scream. And I had no control when the pain hit and just had to go with it. I have walked out of the grocery store leaving a cart full of food because I could not remain in that store one more second.

I do understand. If you hate hearing this as much as I do, it will take time. The beginning is so hard. We do not think we will make it thru. I had nightmares but not about my son. I've only dreamed of him a few times since he died.

Keep talking to your T and being very kind to yourself. Glad you are here. It helps to talk and talk and talk. And then cry until you can't. The people here helped me in ways that no one else could and still are. Because it's complicated with us having PTSD and other issues. I spent a lot of time burning up brain cells about what was what. But that was ok. I HAD to get it out.

You may want to start a diary here. It is such a helpful thing and gets our feelings and thoughts out to people who do understand. Sometimes just knowing my friends here were listening was all I needed.

I am very sad for your loss. You made a lot of sacrifices that in the end you will be very proud of. Take care of yourself. I was told to find a grief group. Or a T that specialized in grief. With the pandemic, I was NOT going to talk to a stranger about what all was going on with me.

It is very important for you to get as much rest as you can. Stay hydrated. I know these are common sense suggestions, but with intense grief, we forget these things.

Know that you are heard. And that I do understand.


Hi and welcome to the site. I'm deeply sorry for your loss. I haven't experienced that kind of grief (only my personal grief which is a different story) so can only imagine what your going through. Keep posting on here and I'm sure that you will find people who can understand and help support you. All the best. S3 😊.